What relieves heartburn fast?
If you are experiencing heartburn, you may ease the problem by:
- Standing up straight: Lying down may put more pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. Standing up reduces this pressure and decreases the escape of acidic contents from the stomach upwards through the food pipe. This is the reason it is advised to not lie down or sleep right after eating.
- Drinking non-fat milk: Non-fat milk can act as a temporary barrier between the gut lining and the acidic stomach contents. This may provide relief in symptoms. Full fat milk should not be consumed for heartburn as it can aggravate acid reflux. Low-fat yogurt also provides a soothing effect in heartburn along with providing probiotics or good bacteria that aid digestion.
- Loosening up your clothing: Tight clothes can put pressure on the tummy causing acid reflux or heartburn
- Taking ginger: Ginger has several medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and also helps in the digestion of food. Sipping some ginger tea may prevent and relieve heartburn
- Taking over the counter antacids: Antacids provide relief by neutralizing the acidic contents. They provide rapid relief from heartburn.
- Drinking dilute lemon water: A small amount of lemon juice mixed with water and honey can help ease the symptoms of heartburn.
Other medications for heartburn, including the H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors or PPI, may provide long term relief from heartburn.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn refers to the burning sensation in the chest due to backflow or reflux of the acidic stomach contents into the food pipe (esophagus). Almost everyone experiences occasional heartburn. When heartburn occurs frequently and interferes with the daily routine it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. The food pipe or esophagus is a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. The lower end of the esophagus has a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. The LES guards the reflux of stomach contents into the food pipe. In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) the LES does not close properly allowing the stomach contents to leak back or reflux into the food pipe and irritate it.
What foods cause heartburn?
The foods triggering heartburn may be different for different people. Some of the common culprit foods and drinks for heartburn are:
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit
- Tomatoes including tomato ketchups
- Large or fatty meals
- Coffee and caffeinated drinks such as tea and soda
- Carbonated drinks
- Aerated drinks
- Fatty meats like ham or bacon
Are bananas good for heartburn?
Bananas are low-acid fruits that can help ease heartburn. They coat the irritated inner lining of the food pipe (esophagus) thereby lowering the discomfort. They are also rich in fiber content and help to digest food better. Bananas are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber. Pectin helps move the stomach contents through the gut. This further prevents indigestion and heartburn as food that sticks around will continue to stimulate acid production.
Other foods that can ease heartburn are melons, oatmeal, green vegetables and yogurt.
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